Thousands to light up at 4/20 pot rally in Denver, largest marijuana celebration in country

DENVER - Tens of thousands of people are gathering  in downtown Denver today to celebrate and smoke marijuana during what is being billed as the country's largest pot celebration.

Police say they will be mostly hands off on Saturday, concerned mostly with crowd security and not the pot smoking.

Organizers say the event,  which drew 50,000 people last year, could bring a record 80,000 this year. That's because it's the first celebration since Colorado voted to pass Amendment 64, which makes it legal to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.

Even with the legalization of recreational marijuana, Colorado bans open and public marijuana use. Still, authorities generally look the other way during the rally.

The official time when everyone lights up is 4:20 p.m. but 7NEWS reporter Russell Haythorn has already seen people smoking pot in public.

The rally has a festival-like atmosphere, with booths selling pizza, snacks, T-shirts and paraphernalia related to the marijuana culture.

The rally takes place every year on April 20, a day pot smokers regard as a holiday. 

This also the first year the Cannabis Cup, a pot-themed convention normally held in Amsterdam, will be held in Denver.